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1 month ago

Google Pixel 2 review, a month later: Still solid, still the best

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Google Pixel 2

It's worth taking another look.

We published our original Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL review over a month ago, back on October 17. Since that review went up, the Pixel 2 has been my "main" phone. Sure I've switched away to different devices as needed, but I've always fallen back to it. That means I've spent well over a month with the Pixel 2 in my hand and my pocket, getting valuable experience using it that just can't possibly make it into a first review.

With that new knowledge, it really warrants another take on the Pixel 2. A look at what's held up, areas that still detract from the experience and whether I think it's still worthy of the strong endorsement handed out back in mid-October.

Google Pixel 2

Still great

Google Pixel 2 What I still love

Unsurprisingly, I'm still loving pretty much everything about the Pixel 2. The phone's relatively compact size is still refreshing, giving me the freedom to easily use it in one hand no matter the situation and being able to toss a case on it without sacrificing usability. Sure the screen size feels a tad restricting when I need to use multi-window mode or have time to kill and pull up YouTube, but considering those situations are a minority of my phone use I far prefer the ability to manage it in one hand the rest of the time.

 One month on

The dual speakers are great to have, offering more volume than I really need and not blowing out even when you crank it up. I regularly listen to podcasts and music in the morning, simply carrying my phone around the house for a bit rather than bothering with a separate speaker, and the Pixel 2 gets the job done. It's also plenty loud for turn-by-turn navigation when I'm using Android Auto in a car mount. Even the most devout "no bezel" faithful can recognize that having solid, loud speakers is at least partially worth that extra bezel space.

The true bread and butter of the Pixel experience is the software, and it continues to be great. Both on Android 8.0 from launch and on the Android 8.1 Developer Preview the past two weeks, my Pixel 2 has been solid. No crashes, hang-ups, stutters, slow-downs or instability. Google's launcher is silky smooth and so I've stuck with it, even though I have been using the Google Now Feed less and less as it becomes more of a news reader than an assistive information feed.

Google continues to have amazing software, and it keeps getting better over time.

But really, it's all of the little touches of the Pixel's software — beyond what we'd normally call "stock" or "clean" Android — that make it a treat. The ambient display is good, the "Now Playing" feature is fun to have and getting the earliest access to all of Google's latest features with Android 8.0 and its top-tier apps is an added value. And for someone who utilizes so many Google services on any phone I use, not having duplicate manufacturer apps getting in my way is a plus.

Battery life has continued to surprise me as well, going through a full day with some to spare even on tougher weekdays with lots of use. I'm not entirely sure how Google's getting so much out of such a small battery, but my experiences are backed up by tons of other Pixel 2 owners.

The camera, of course, continues to be fantastic. It's near-impossible to take a bad photo with this phone, and every single time you press the shutter button you expect great results. Leaving HDR+ in "Auto" mode and just letting the software do its thing yields wonderful results — slightly punchy colors, super sharp edges and great dynamic range. And this is before Google starts offloading its processing to the Pixel Visual Core co-processor.

Using a couple other phones recently I still wish the Pixel 2 had some sort of a "Pro" mode with more adjustability, and some more built-in features like a time lapse mode. But with shot-to-shot results this good, it's hard to argue with Google's simple approach. And don't forget the added Pixel benefit of free full-resolution image uploads to Google Photos for a couple years.

Google Pixel 2

A couple bugbears

Google Pixel 2 What I don't like

A couple of the Pixel 2's flaws were easy to see right from the start, and haven't gotten any easier to deal with over time.

I still hate that I don't have a headphone jack on this phone. I understand why Google removed it, and I use Bluetooth headphones and speakers now more than ever, but I still hate it regardless. (Yes, I just used "hate" twice — I mean it.) The Pixel 2 comes with a headphone adapter, thankfully, but I have more than one place I want to plug a standard 3.5 mm cable into my phone — this leads me to carry the dongle around the house and to and from my car, inevitably leaving it somewhere inconvenient. Thankfully replacement adapters cost just $9 from the Google Store, but that's $9 more than I should have to spend on this kind of thing.

Google Pixel 2 with headphones

I also switch between phones often and it's still hit-or-miss whether the various USB-C adapters from each will work on the other devices. Yay, more adapter headaches! Switching to USB-C headphones, in theory, would be fine, but there are hardly any to choose from ($149?!) and they don't work with my laptop or desktop computers.

I see a world in the not-so-near future where Bluetooth and USB-C have removed the need for 3.5 mm cables and ports for all but very specialized use cases. But that's the future, not the present, and this is still a notable downside on the Pixel 2 when other really good phones offer a headphone jack.

For as good as the Pixel 2's hardware is, it doesn't exactly turn heads or steal quick glances.

I also totally understand much of the criticism lobbed at the Pixel 2's simplistic design. I still enjoy the quality of the materials and construction, but I sure do wish Google took a few more risks with this hardware. As I said above I don't really mind the size of the bezels above and below the screen, but the overall look of the phone that just feels set in the past — even when compared to the curves of the Pixel 2 XL. The closest thing you get to visual flair on the Pixel 2 is in "Kinda Blue" with its contrast-colored power button — that isn't saying much. Aside from that, the rest of it is just very generic.

Some (myself included) appreciate the clean, simple and understated lines of the Pixel 2. But I see the desire from others to have their phone actually turn heads and get noticed. The Pixel 2 isn't stealing any quick glances the way a Galaxy S8, LG V30 or HTC U11 is.

Google Pixel 2

Great phone

Google Pixel 2 One month on

Over a month after first giving a strong recommendation to the Pixel 2, I can easily still stand by it. In my eyes, it still offers the absolute best overall Android experience, carefully weighing usability and features both in the hardware and software.

It's the best Google has made and a fantastic phone I think anyone would be happy using.

The screen size is relatively small compared to the rest of the flagship industry, but it offers great one-handed usability with plenty of room to get typical tasks done. The software doesn't have every feature, but it has amazing speed and consistency along with seamless integration of Google's latest features and apps. And then there's the camera. What an amazing selling point. Anyone can pick up a Pixel 2 and take wonderful photos in a wide variety of situations with no photography skills at all.

We can all quibble about the value proposition of the larger Pixel 2 XL at $849, with a larger screen and battery not quite justifying the $200 price bump. But when you look at what the Pixel 2 offers for just $649 it's no surprise that I and the rest of the Android Central team rate it so highly. And an extra month of use has only solidified my feelings on this great phone. Even taking its imperfections into account, it's the best phone Google has made and one I think anyone would be happy using.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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1 month ago

Best Android Phone Under $700 for 2018

Best overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Best Buy See at Google Store

The smaller of Google's new Pixel phones is also its best, thanks to a no-nonsense design and plenty of features to get enthusiasts excited. For a starting price of $649, it mirrors last year's 5-inch flagship, but has a laundry list of upgrades, including a faster processor, more default storage, a better-calibrated OLED display, and, of course, a stupendous 12MP camera that beats everything else on the market. Plus, the latest version of Android first — and for three years.

Bottom line: There's nothing quite like the Pixel, which marries hardware and software into an exceptional Android experience.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger display and battery but may not be worth the extra $200.



Why the Pixel 2 is the best

If you weren't a fan of the first Pixel's looks but enjoyed everything else about it, the Pixel 2 is for you. Available in three awesome colors with a soft-touch metal finish that's perfect to hold without a case, the Pixel 2 is easy to use in one hand, extremely performant and reliable, and easily has the best camera on the Android market today.

Add to that the fact Google will first give its Pixel phones updates to the latest version of Android, but it's also promising three years of updates, which is unprecedented in the Android space. Google has done a lot to improve the reliability of the Pixel 2 (despite some early software issues) and battery life has also improved considerably over the first version.

Best for looks

HTC U11

See at Amazon See at HTC See at Sprint

This may come as a shock to you, but HTC is back, baby! In fact, the company never left, but its criminally underappreciated 2016 flagship, the HTC 10, has been replaced by a phone so good and so striking that it would be impossible not to consider it in 2017. That phone is the HTC U11.

It may lack the Stretch Armstrong screen dimensions of the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, but it makes up for it in admirable practicality. The phone is fast — like, crazy fast — and the rear camera is probably the best you'll find on the market today. And despite the fingerprint magnetic glass back, when it's clean it's stunning, like a work of art.

Bottom line: The HTC U11 is an amazing phone that you should absolutely consider if you're in the market for an under-$700 device.

One more thing: The phone is only available to purchase at Sprint in the U.S., so consider financing it from HTC directly if you want to use it elsewhere.



Best for single hands

LG G6+

See at Amazon

The LG G6+ is a great alternative for a sub-$700 smartphone, particularly if you aren't too interested in buying one of last year's Samsung devices as this year's daily driver.

Sure, LG was known to be chasing gimmicks with its flagship releases the last few years, but it's since changed its tune with the G6+. This hand-friendly smartphone features an attractive design, great build quality, and a stunning, nearly bezel-less 5.7-inch display. It also features Qi wireless charging (in North America), water resistance, a rear-facing fingerprint sensor that doubles as a power button, and a bevy of fun, wide-angle camera features.

The G6+ is a special edition of the G6, exclusive to Amazon Prime in the U.S., which features a high-quality 64-bit Quad DAC, and double the storage to 64GB — and it's very good value at $500.

Bottom line: LG is back to making really solid smartphones and the G6+ is a worthy buy if camera hardware is especially important to you.

One more thing: If you want to save some money, you can grab the G6 — still a great phone, just sans Quad DAC and 64GB storage — for $400.



Best for less

OnePlus 5T

See at OnePlus

It's hard to find a better value than the OnePlus 5T (other than maybe the OnePlus 5). It packs the same top-end specs as the rest of the phones on this list, including Qualcomm's powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset and a modern 2:1 display, all at a lower price with the company's highly acclaimed OxygenOS software to boot.

That lower price does come with some trade-offs; the OnePlus 5T lacks wireless charging and water resistance, and its secondary lens is underwhelming. Still, no other phone offers the same kind of performance as the OnePlus 5T in its pricerange, and it's unlocked as a bonus.

Bottom line: The OnePlus 5T gives the rest of the phones in this list a run for their money at a lower price with few compromises.

One more thing: Though the 5T ships with Nougat, OnePlus has committed to releasing an Oreo update by January of 2018.

Conclusion

The Pixel 2 is the best phone you can buy right now, period — and it happens to be under $700. But if you want some visual alternatives, the LG G6+, HTC U11, and OnePlus 5T are great options, too.

Best overall

Google Pixel 2

See at Verizon See at Best Buy See at Google Store

The smaller of Google's new Pixel phones is also its best, thanks to a no-nonsense design and plenty of features to get enthusiasts excited. For a starting price of $649, it mirrors last year's 5-inch flagship, but has a laundry list of upgrades, including a faster processor, more default storage, a better-calibrated OLED display, and, of course, a stupendous 12MP camera that beats everything else on the market. Plus, the latest version of Android first — and for three years.

Bottom line: There's nothing quite like the Pixel, which marries hardware and software into an exceptional Android experience.

One more thing: The Pixel 2 XL has a bigger display and battery but may not be worth the extra $200.

Updated December 2017: The Google Pixel 2 is our latest pick, the HTC U11 has been moved to our best-looking phone, and the OnePlus 5T is our new best-for-less pick..

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1 month ago

Google Pixel 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8: Which should you buy?

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Google Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8

This one's set up for a serious fight.

When it comes to phone comparisons that people love to get passionate about, looking at the latest offerings from Google and Samsung is about as good as it gets. Google just announced the new Pixel 2, a proper flagship phone with a smaller-than-most display. The Galaxy S8 may have been announced earlier on in 2017, but it's a the go-to flagship phone, and with price drops over the course of the year it's become even more enticing.

Let's take a look at the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 to see where they're matched, where they differentiate and which one is best for you.

What's the same

There's more shared between these phones than you might think at first glance. Set them side-by-side and you'll notice they're actually roughly the same dimensions. The Pixel 2 is a tad shorter, wider and lighter — but when you hold these two together you won't notice a difference in those terms.

The rising tide of hardware has lifted both phones.

Going inside, these two tick many of the same basic boxes when it comes to the specs. You get a Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM running the show, and for most people getting 64GB of storage with an SD card slot in the Galaxy S8 is about a wash with the 64 or 128GB available out of the box with the Pixel 2. They both have OLED displays, which is definitely a "thing" some people look for because they just don't like LCDs — and though their resolutions aren't the same (Pixel 2 at 1920x1080 vs. Galaxy S8 at 2960x1440), they both have plenty high pixel densities. The Pixel 2's 10% smaller 2700mAh battery is a concern, for sure, but with its lighter software and lower resolution it seems to closely match the Galaxy S8's longevity.

Both phones are water- and dust-resistant, which is something Google is just now getting to in this generation but any Samsung owner will tell you is a wonderful to have feature. You'll be able to use either one in the rain and not immediately panic if you drop it in the sink or splash it when you're at the beach.

With so much of the industry going toward dual cameras (including Samsung on the Note 8), these phones are notably the same when it comes to the overall approach to photography. You'll find a ~12MP sensor on both, with familiar "dual pixel" auto focus and a fast aperture — f/1.7 for the Galaxy S8, and f/1.8 for the Pixel 2. Google now has OIS as well, matching Samsung, and while the Galaxy's electronic stabilization in videos isn't as good as Google's it's there helping smooth things out. Google's image processing is once again top-notch, and there are many situations where it just can't be matched — even by the consistently great Galaxy S8.

What's different

Take a look at the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 from the front, and you get a real discussion starter. It's all about the screen bezels here, folks. As noted these phones are almost the same size overall, but the Galaxy S8's 18.5:9 5.8-inch display is much larger than the Pixel 2's 16:9 5-incher. Credit to Google keeping the side bezels small ... but the top and bottom bezels are quite massive. Functionally, it doesn't really create many problems on a phone that's still relatively compact — but people are all but screaming over the aesthetics of the whole thing.

Getting less screen for the same size phone rubs some people the wrong way.

Given there's no real functional detriment to having larger bezels on the top and bottom, it's mostly just the optics of the whole setup that rub people the wrong way. The Pixel 2, releasing at the end of 2017, has a "conventional smartphone" look — and aside from front-facing stereo speakers, there isn't a whole lot extra to show for it. The Galaxy S8 has all of the same hardware capabilities, plus a headphone jack, all while offering more screen real estate in the same basic overall size. Google showed it could even split the difference nicely with the Pixel 2 XL, which has the same sort of layout as the Galaxy S8 (well, the S8+ at least) but with stereo speakers.

But for many Google phone lovers, there's a reason to put up with the bezels and somewhat bland design: the software experience. Even with improvements in the past couple generations of the "Samsung Experience," it just doesn't match the Pixel 2 when it comes to smooth, consistent and clean daily use. Google's apps and services are on the whole better than Samsung's options, and they work even better on a Pixel when they aren't competing for space with duplicates and imitations. You also get three years of guaranteed updates, which is dramatically better than what you can expect from a Samsung phone — even a flagship such as this.

Bottom line

Landing at about the same price, and well underneath their top-end counterparts, both the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8 will be on the radar for late-2017 phone buyers. And the great part about this decision is how much they share: the base specs, overall size and core features can be found in both. Which one is right for you comes down to just a few decisions on aesthetics, specific hardware features and feelings about software.

It comes down to screen size and software experience.

The Galaxy S8 is probably the default choice for so many people who are familiar with Samsung phones or are simply drawn in by its beautiful design. There are also legitimate spec and feature reasons to buy the GS8: a larger (and higher resolution) screen in a compact size, a larger battery, wireless charging and an increasingly rare headphone jack.

Anyone drawn to a Pixel 2 from the start probably has a relationship with Google's software experience and services — and these people won't be disappointed. There are fewer hardware and spec compromises in this phone than its predecessor, and Google has stepped up its game with things like water resistance, an even better camera, a better display and more base storage at the same starting price. The choice to go with a Pixel 2 starts and ends with how much you value the clean, simple and hassle-free experience of a phone with one brand on the box: Google.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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1 month ago

How are you liking the Essential Phone's portrait mode?

2

Portrait mode for the Essential Phone is finally here, but is it any good?

On November 29, an update to the Essential Phone's camera app finally added the greatly-anticipated portrait mode that's been introduced on so many other smartphones this year.

We've seen portrait mode implementations on devices range from awesome to hot garbage, and with the Essential Phone's camera already being one of the weaker ones on a flagship in 2017, expectations for its portrait offering were admittedly low.

However, now that people are actually getting the chance to test the feature out for themselves, initial impressions seem to be quite good.

*/
yfan 11-30-2017 10:15 AM “

Yup the phone is definitely going in the right direction software wise. I just hope we're rewarded for our patience! 🤣

Reply
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Armeniandave 11-30-2017 08:18 AM “

Just tried it myself and it does work pretty well. Compression on regular pics is much better now too. Definitely going in the right direction!

Reply
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Roosterman 11-30-2017 08:09 AM “

Thanks for the couple pictures yfan. I like that you don't have to have a face present to get the effect. As I recall Apple or Pixel had some issue with this.

Reply
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estebancam 12-01-2017 07:19 AM “

portrait mode is looking great.

Reply

If you've had the chance to mess around with this new feature, we'd like to know – How are you liking portrait mode on the Essential Phone?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Essential Phone

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1 month ago

Best Honor Phone

Best overall

Honor 9

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No surprise — the best Honor phone you can buy is the venerable Honor 9. This 5.15-inch handset hits a sweet spot in terms of size and price. It'll set you back just a little over £300 at current prices, while delivering speedy performance thanks to Huawei's homegrown Kirin 960 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The dual camera setup similar to that of the Huawei P10 also makes it across to the new Honor phone, although without the Leica branding, nor optical image stabilization.

And on the outside, the Honor 9's glitzy metal-and-glass body stands out from the crowd, and battery life from the fixed 3,200mAh cell is easily enough to last a full day, thanks to its efficient internals. It's running Android Nougat out of the box, with an update to Oreo coming in early 2018.

Bottom line: The Honor 9 is an excellent sub-£350 phone with a few software quirks that may take a while to adjust to.

One more thing: The Honor 9 isn't available in the U.S. -- buyers in the states should probably wait for Honor's next big thing at this point.

Why the Honor 9 is the best

A whole lotta phone for 300 quid.

With UK pricing currently just over £300, the Honor 9 delivers excellent value for money. And if you can deal with Huawei's EMUI 5.1 interface — it's something of acquired taste, but way better than earlier Huawei software — there's an awful lot to like. The display — a 1080p LCD panel — is bright and vibrant, and the fact that you're not pushing a 2K panel means there are power savings to be had.

Meanwhile, the dual camera setup uses a full color 12-megapixel sensor and another black-and-white sensor combined, to produce clear daylight shots and photos with more detail in low light. EMUI's camera app also includes super night mode for getting the most from stabilized shots in the dark. And all that in an attractive glass-backed package.

Best value

Honor 6X

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Honor's latest phone to launch in the U.S. is the only current product sold in the country. The Honor 6X packs an efficient Huawei Kirin 655 processor and 3GB of RAM into a metal body, with a surprisingly good 1080p LCD display. There's 32GB of storage built in (internationally you can choose beteen 32 and 64GB), and the recent Android 7.0 Nougat (and EMUI 5) upgrade brings welcome performance improvements and UI tweaks.

What's more you'll also get a great rear-mounted fingerprint scanner for biometric security — a feature that's still missing from many phones at this sub-$200 price point.

Bottom-line: The Honor 6X is a decent phone with metal construction and a fingerprint scanner for comfortably less than $200.

One more thing: The biggest trade-off for the Honor 6X is the lack of oleophobic coating on the screen, meaning it can get gunked up with fingerprints pretty easily.

Conclusion

All of Honor's phones are competitively priced, but the flagship Honor 9 is the one to aim for. You'll get flagship-tier performance and build quality, an impressive camera and all-day battery life for considerably less than the bigger brands are charging. What's more, it's only going to get better once Android Oreo arrives in the coming months.

Best overall

Honor 9

See at Amazon UK

No surprise — the best Honor phone you can buy is the venerable Honor 9. This 5.15-inch handset hits a sweet spot in terms of size and price. It'll set you back just a little over £300 at current prices, while delivering speedy performance thanks to Huawei's homegrown Kirin 960 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The dual camera setup similar to that of the Huawei P10 also makes it across to the new Honor phone, although without the Leica branding, nor optical image stabilization.

And on the outside, the Honor 9's glitzy metal-and-glass body stands out from the crowd, and battery life from the fixed 3,200mAh cell is easily enough to last a full day, thanks to its efficient internals. It's running Android Nougat out of the box, with an update to Oreo coming in early 2018.

Bottom line: The Honor 9 is an excellent sub-£350 phone with a few software quirks that may take a while to adjust to.

One more thing: The Honor 9 isn't available in the U.S. -- buyers in the states should probably wait for Honor's next big thing at this point.

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1 month ago

Video: HTC U11+ review

21

It's become something of a sad cliche to preface an HTC review with a grim recap of just how far the Taiwanese company has fallen in the past half-decade. Sure: HTC has indeed seen better days, but it still knows how to make great Android phones, as evidenced by the quality of this year's U11 handset.

Now, as the year draws to a close, there's a new model on the horizon — boasting a larger, taller screen, a gigantic battery and Android Oreo out of the box. The HTC U11+ sees HTC join the 18:9 club while further refining its "liquid surface" glass design and introducing a smattering of new software features — all while retaining the key features that made the U11 a great device. Unfortunately, there's no U.S. launch planned for the U11+, but it's out now in parts of Asia, and coming to Europe soon.

Check out our video review above for a full rundown on what's good — and not so good — about the latest phone from everyone's favorite Android underdog.

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1 month ago

Best Samsung Phones

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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From dual cameras and a Wacom-powered stylus to water resistance, wireless charging, a massive curved display and even a headphone jack, the Galaxy Note 8 packs just about everything you could possibly ask for in a modern flagship. At 1200 nits, its display is one of the brightest on the market, and it's hard to beat the combination of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset and a whopping 6GB of RAM.

Bottom line: The Galaxy Note 8 is simply the best device Samsung has ever built. At least, until the Galaxy S9 shows its face.

One more thing: Depending on where you buy it from, the Galaxy Note 8 nears $1000 outright. For all its compelling features, a thousand dollars is hard to swallow for any phone.

Why the Galaxy Note 8 is the best

Samsung packed everything and the kitchen sink into the Galaxy Note 8.

For the absolute biggest and best that Samsung has to offer, you go with a Galaxy Note 8. It's the only way you can get an S Pen and the suite of software that makes it so powerful, but it's also the only Samsung phone available with its new dual camera setup. Those dual cameras let you zoom in on subjects with less resolution loss, and combine for a "Live Focus" effect that selectively blurs the background to mimic a DSLR's shallow depth of field. The main camera on its own remains unchanged from the Galaxy S8, however, which is disappointing to some who want to see an improvement but is a rock-solid shooter we're all familiar with at this point.

Aside from those two features, though, the Note 8 is near-identical to the Galaxy S8+. It has all of the same specs, save for a bump to 6GB of RAM and a drop to 3300mAh battery. It also has the same overall design and build, with a screen that's just 0.1-inches larger and a body that's only minimally bigger in each direction. For that reason, if you don't need the S Pen or are drawn in by the cameras, you'd be smart to consider saving some money and getting a Galaxy S8+ instead.

Best small phone

Samsung Galaxy S8

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The Galaxy S8 is just another example of why Samsung remains one of the top performers in smartphones. It features one of the best smartphone displays with a vibrant color palette and fantastic brightness. It's equipped with a stellar 12MP camera with manual shooting abilities, as well as a 3000mAh battery that will last you through the day. Samsung also continues to bundle in the "extras" you won't always find on other devices, like a water resistant chassis, wireless charging and a microSD expansion slot.

Bottom line: With the way Samsung has aggressively marketed and cut the price of the Galaxy S8 over time, it's no surprise this phone is on just about everyone's list in the top-end smartphone market. It does just about everything you want.

One more thing: Like every other Samsung phone released in 2017, the S8's fingerprint sensor is a bit hard to reach — luckily iris recognition works pretty well in all but the brightest environments.

Best mid-sized phone

Samsung Galaxy S8+

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Need something bigger? The Galaxy S8+ has all the same innards as its smaller counterpart, but it builds on that foundation with a larger 6.2-inch display and 3500mAh battery to accompany it. It also comes packed with all the same goodies, including water resistance, an expansion slot, USB Type-C fast charging, wireless charging, and the ability to pay with either Samsung Pay or Android Pay.

Bottom line: If the Galaxy S8 is too small for your liking, and you don't care about the S Pen or dual cameras, the S8+ is your best bet. It's cheaper than the Galaxy Note 8 and offers a nearly identical experience.

One more thing: This is still a really big phone — we certainly recommend holding both it and the standard Galaxy S8 before making a buying decision on which one works for your hands.

Best durable phone

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active

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The Galaxy S8 Active offers an identical core experience to the Galaxy S8, down to every little feature like wireless charging and specific hardware components. At the same time, the entire outside of the phone is considerably thicker, wider, taller and heavier than the Galaxy S8, with a flat screen and no glass on the back. It also has a plastic-like coating on the screen to make it shatter-resistant, which is great for those who need it but a slight detriment to the rest of us as it picks up casual scratches much easier.

Bottom line: The Galaxy S8 Active isn't a better overall phone than the standard Galaxy S8, but it sure is a great "rugged" choice considering the competition.

One more thing: All of that extra size let Samsung put an extra 1000mAh of battery capacity in, totaling 4000mAh, so you really don't have to worry about battery life on the Galaxy S8 Active.

Best for less

Samsung Galaxy S7

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The Galaxy S7 may now be considered to some as old news, but you'll save a considerable amount of money picking this one over its latest successor. It's considerably smaller when you compare it to the Galaxy S8, and aside from the "Active" models it's the last modern Samsung flagship with a flat screen. But it has a whole host of other modern features, like IP68 water resistance, Samsung Pay, an SD card slot, and what we'd still consider a very capable 12-megapixel rear camera.

Bottom line: If small and affordable is what you're going for, and you don't mind the impending end-of-life status of software updates after the next major release, the Galaxy S7 remains a good deal.

One more thing: Keep in mind that the Galaxy S7 comes from the era of Micro-USB ports … you may need to have a different cable if you've already started to upgrade the rest of your setup to USB-C.

Update, November 2017: The list was brought up to date with the addition of the Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Active, as well as the removal of the Note 7 and Galaxy S7 edge, for simplicity's sake.

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1 month ago

Nokia 2 now available for purchase in U.S. for $99

27

You can buy the Nokia 2 from Amazon and Best Buy starting today.

The Nokia brand has been rather prominent in the Android space this year, and this has resulted from the release of the Nokia 8, 6, 5, and 2. The Nokia 6 was the first of these phones to launch in the United States this past July, and that's now being followed by the more affordable Nokia 2.

You'll be able to purchase the Nokia 2 from Amazon and Best Buy starting today, November 30, and it'll cost you just $99. For that price, you're getting a 5-inch 1280 x 720 LCD display, Snapdragon 212 processor, 8MP rear camera, and a huge 4,100 mAh battery that Nokia says allows for two days of use on a single charge.

Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, 5MP front-facing camera, and a microUSB port for charging. The Nokia 2 ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and while we'd expect an Oreo update soon, an ETA for this has yet to be announced.

See at Amazon

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1 month ago

With the Mate 10 Pro, Huawei comes close to greatness

45

The Mate 10 Pro is one of the fastest and most seductive phones on the market, but its software lets it down where it counts.

Here in North America, there are the phone companies you know about, and the ones you need to know about. Huawei is in the latter category, despite broaching fame in early 2017 with the U.S. release of its flagship Mate 9.

With that phone's sequel, the company divided the line into two distinct models: the regular Mate 10, which looks a lot like its predecessor, and the Mate 10 Pro, which is taller and sleeker and goes forward in a more modern, future-proof direction. That latter version is coming to the U.S. in early 2018 (though the company won't say exactly when, or if it's partnering with a carrier this time around), and there's a lot to look forward to.

I've been using the Mate 10 Pro for a few weeks now in both the U.S. and Canada, and though you can't buy it yet, there's lots to look forward to when it becomes available next year. (Or if you're so inclined, you can import it from Europe, but that's for the truly desperate.)

Huawei Mate 10 Pro review: Best Android flagship for battery life

Huawei Mate 10 What you'll love

There's a lot to like about the Mate 10's hardware. You should take a look at Alex's review because it gives an excellent overview of the way Huawei has migrated, as other companies have, away from metal to a warmer glass-back design. The racing stripe along the back gives what would be an otherwise bland-looking device a bit of personality, too, which is a nice touch.

  • Display: 6 inches, 2160x1080 pixels (2:1 aspect)
  • OS: EMUI 8.0 (Android 8.0 Oreo)
  • Price: €699 (EUR) / TBD (US)
  • Processor: Kirin 970
  • RAM: 4GB / 6GB
  • Storage: 64GB / 128GB
  • Camera (front): 8MP ƒ2.0
  • Cameras (rear): 12MP (main) | 20MP (secondary)
  • Weight: 178 grams
  • Size: 152.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm
  • Wireless: LTE 1.2Gbps
  • Sensors: Rear fingerprint
  • Battery: 4000mAh
  • Water resistance: IP67
  • Colors: Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray, Mocha Brown, Pink Gold

Holding the Mate 10's all-glass chassis is often treacherous given its size and weight — it's over 6 inches tall and weighs 173 grams, but as an object, the phone is stunning to look at. The AMOLED screen, despite not matching up in resolution to much of the competition (and, oddly, to its own LCD-sporting Mate 10 counterpart) is vivid and accurate, without a hint of the unsightly blue tint that has afflicted the LG V30 and Google Pixel 2 XL.

Like the Mate 9, the Mate 10 Pro does away with most of the bezels around the screen, though that effect is less pronounced this year for a number of reasons: there are many phones that look almost identical (the front is a dead ringer for the OnePlus 5T); and the AMOLED screen blends nicely with the black bezels.

This is one of the fastest phones on the market, and the Kirin 970 is to thank for that.

The phone is also very fast — the Kirin 970 processor inside the Mate 10 Pro matches or outperforms the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in most synthetic benchmarks I've used, and the phone feels incredibly snappy. While I'm no fan of Huawei's software — EMUI 8.0 is still a mess in many places — there's no question that using the company's latest flagship feels like there is plenty of headroom (I've been using the model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Other nice touches: Huawei's fingerprint sensor is incredibly fast and wonderfully placed. On a phone this tall, I never had a problem getting to the home screen. (That's a good thing, too, because the phone lacks any form of gesture to wake the screen with a double-tap.) It's water-resistant, rated IP67, which is good for one meter of submersion for 30 minutes.

Given that this is the first in the Mate line with such a pedigree, it's a timely addition, as the feature feels like table stakes for a release in late 2017. There is no headphone jack, nor wireless charging; oddly, I'm less bummed about the former than the latter.

The camera is outstanding on here. Huawei has always done a great job with its optics, partnering with Leica in the past, and the collaboration bears even juicier fruit with the Mate 10 series than it did on the P10 and P10 Plus from earlier in 2017.

The Mate 10 Pro's camera has decent dynamic range in difficult shooting situations. This is without HDR.

Colors are vivid and pleasing.

The big change is in low light performance: the secondary 20MP monochrome sensor is now paired with an ƒ/1.6 lens, and the results are truly special. I still think it's nuts that Huawei's otherwise-excellent camera app still doesn't support Auto HDR, but shooting photos and video is an otherwise sublime experience. I'd buy this phone for the monochrome sensor alone.

If you're a camera junky — especially a fan of monochrome photography — this is the phone to get. It takes beautiful photos.

Battery life from the 4000mAh battery is astoundingly good. I know, that's a big adverb, but it's worth the hyperbole. I only had to charge the Mate 10 Pro once every two days, and that's with using it as I would any other phone. Yes, battery life has improved across the board on high-end Android phones this year — the 10nm manufacturing process of chips like the Kirin 970 and Snapdragon 835 have facilitated that — but this takes things to a whole new level.

Elsewhere, I had no problem using the phone to make calls and connect to both AT&T's and TELUS's LTE networks in the U.S. and Canada, respectively, and though I couldn't take advantage of the purported 1.2Gbps potential network speeds, I did notice the phone's LTE connection was always solid, even in remote areas. The stereo speakers, too, are very good.

Huawei Mate 10 What you'll hate

I said it earlier, and I'll strongly reiterate it here: I do not like EMUI. Even with its modern retrofit, running Android 8.0 Oreo behind the scenes, Huawei still doesn't understand what makes Android so singularly decent. It strips away the logical changes Google brings to the fore, opting to hide behind years of legacy behavior that offers almost no value to the user.

If you're a Pixel software fan, this is as far from that as you'll find.

The most striking example to me is the most simple: it's not possible to expand notifications on the lock screen. It appears you can, but tapping the arrow that on other Android phones offers the entirety of a message does nothing here. The phone just prompts you to tap again to go directly into the app. That's the exact opposite of the behavior I want.

Next is the insistence on theming the phone like it's a character in a space opera. Everything is chrome and textured and ugly. That the phone makes it difficult to change one's default launcher doesn't help matters, but I wouldn't mind if the one that ships with it was any good. Of course, the default version lacks an app drawer, but that's relatively fixable. What isn't is finding a theme — and there are around a dozen pre-installed — that doesn't offend my eyes. I couldn't install Action Launcher and AdaptivePack quickly enough.

Thankfully, once those issues were dealt with, the software experience was akin to any other Oreo-based phone. EMUI 8.0 is not a drastic change from 5.0, which shipped on the Mate 9.

Huawei insists that its machine learning algorithms will keep the phone running quickly well into its expected two-year lifespan, but in my few weeks with the Mate 10 Pro I haven't noticed any substantive difference.

There's a lot of potential inside Huawei's NPU, but it will rely on the ingenuity of developers to make it useful.

Moreover, Huawei's Neural Processing Unit, a vector-based chip that offloads a bulk of the machine learning processing from the main Kirin processor, doesn't seem to have a real-world impact on performance or even experience at this point. The main use case, identifying various subjects and changing the camera settings accordingly, is nice in theory, but applying additional saturation to my food subjects isn't impressive.

I am encouraged by what the NPU is capable of, and I expect Qualcomm to double down on AI-based silicon optimizations in upcoming versions of its platforms, but for now, the NPU is waiting for a killer app. (And no, the pre-installed version of Microsoft Translate that speeds up on-device translation doesn't count as a killer app.)

I also had a hell of time getting Bluetooth headphones — multiple headsets — to maintain solid connections to the Mate 10 Pro. I'm sure this is a software bug, but it basically precludes me from using the phone to listen to music, as its lack of a headphone jack puts me in dongle territory, and I hate being in dongle territory.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro Should you buy it?

My visceral reaction to the Mate 10's few software quirks is likely not going to mirrored by the vast majority of people. I prefer Android when it gets out of my way and just does things intuitively — Pixel 2, OnePlus 5T, even Galaxy Note 8 — and when I use the Mate 10 Pro, I always feel like I'm fighting the software. But I felt that way about the Mate 9 before Huawei released a massive update weeks after its release to fix some nagging bugs, so I'm hopeful of the same thing here.

At the same time, this is classic Huawei hardware: substantial and practical, if a little derivative. The Mate 10 Pro is a good-looking phone indeed, but it's the hardware inside that's most impressive. No company packs its phones so full of specs like Huawei.

If you're not a fan of the Pixels, the Mate 10 Pro offers a camera experience that's far more feature-filled, with day- and low-light shots that come out nearly as well. If you're a photo fanatic, this is one great companion.

We don't yet know specific U.S. release details, but I'd bet that the Mate 10 Pro will undercut the vast majority of flagships available today, and that will make it a hell of a good deal.

See at Huawei

*/

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1 month ago

Android 8.0 Oreo now available for unlocked HTC U11 Life

4

The Oreo love heads to HTC's latest budget handset.

Alongside the translucent and powerful U11+ that was announced in early November, HTC also introduced its latest budget handset in the form of the U11 Life. The U11 Life is an incredibly stylish phone with a great build and solid display, but one of its pain points lied with its lack of Android Oreo out of the box.

Thankfully, according to an announcement from HTC's Vice President of Product Management, Mo Versi, the unlocked version of the U11 Life is now being updated to 8.0 Oreo.

As per usual with Oreo updates, this means the U11 Life now has access to picture-in-picture, notification dots, Google's Autofill API, etc.

This update comes just days after HTC pushed out Oreo to the regular U11, and following these devices, we should see the HTC 10 and U Ultra get similar treatment sometime soon.

Android Oreo

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1 month ago

MrMobile: The ZTE Axon M is a fun phone that you probably shouldn't buy

3

I have had more fun in my week with the Axon M than with almost any other phone of 2017. It's a crazy dual-screen clamshell, a half-phone-half-tablet that simultaneously evokes memories of the Nintendo DS, the ill-fated Microsoft Courier, and something you might see on an episode of The Expanse. But as far as Android has come since the oddball Kyocera Echo of 2011, it's still not flexible enough to make a "folding phone" that's not frustrating to use … at least, not one designed by ZTE.

Check out Android Central's first impressions, then come along as I share the surprising highs and not-so-surprising lows of the ZTE Axon M: a very fun phone that you probably shouldn't buy.

Stay social, my friends

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1 month ago

Essential Phone gains portrait mode, 2nd gen model in the works, and more

42

The Essential team tells all in its latest Reddit AMA.

Every other Wednesday, the Essential team takes to Reddit to hold an AMA to answer any and all burning questions that people have about the company and its products. The most recent one was held on November 29, and as per usual, there's a lot to talk about.

For starters, Essential confirmed that a portrait mode is now available for its phone as an update for the camera app through the Play Store. In addition to this highly-requested feature, the update also includes better compression of JPEG shots and other general bug fixes and stability tweaks.

Speaking of software, an update to the existing 8.0 Oreo beta should be rolling out next week with improvements to Bluetooth performance, battery, and touch latency/choppy scrolling through the UI. Android 8.1 is also in the works, but Essential says it'll likely just push this out as a regular update without first running it through a beta.

Moving on to the hardware side of things –

  • The Stellar Gray version of the Essential Phone should be available at some point before 2017 is over, but there's still no ETA for the Ocean Depth variant
  • Essential is still working on the charging dock accessory, and along with sharing a couple hands-on photos of it, the company says that the final build was recently completed and that the price will be under $100
  • When talking about reparability concerns that popped up for the Essential Phone, we got confirmation that a 2nd gen version of the device is in the works ("We are focusing on reparability for the next generation phone)

Photos of the Essential Phone's charging dock.

Lastly, while Essential didn't exactly address the recent allegations against Founder and CEO Andy Rubin, it did confirm that support for the existing PH-1 would continue on as per usual –

We absolutely will be continuing to support the PH-1 device including security patches, more camera features and additional worldwide carrier support throughout the lifecycle of the PH-1 device. We still have plenty of work, continued release milestones on the roadmap, and new features we want to deliver from the great feedback we get in these AMAs. We are looking forward to supporting you guys for a long time.

Those are the biggest highlights from this last AMA, but if you want to read the full thing for yourself, you can check it out here.

Essential Phone

Amazon Best Buy Sprint Telus

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1 month ago

Which MVNOs work with more than one carrier?

16

These are the alternative carriers that lease coverage from more than one of the Big Four carriers.

We talk a lot about carriers and MVNOs here because having good wireless service goes hand in hand with your Android phone. And the service being good is the most important part. We can't stress enough that saving a few dollars each month to get service that doesn't work very well is a bad move; Verizon is expensive, for example, and worth every penny for a lot of people because of its coverage.

Multiple networks are especially great for families, who don't always live in the same place.

That's why getting service from an MVNO that works with more than one network can be important! With a company like Google's Project Fi, if coverage from one carrier is bad in the place you're at, you will jump over to another automatically. With most others, you have a choice of carrier when you first sign up and can switch the next month if you like. That's a great way to make sure you always have a good signal, and we think it's pretty cool.

Here's a list of MVNOs that provide service on multiple carrier networks. Note that this isn't an endorsement of any of them, it's just a list so you know where to start looking!

Company AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon US Cellular Best Cellular Yes Yes Yes Yes No Boom Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes No campusSIMs Yes No Yes No No Consumer Cellular Yes No Yes No No Eco Mobile No Yes Yes Yes No Expo Mobile No Yes No Yes No Flash Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No FreedomPop1 Yes Yes No No No good2GO Mobile Yes yes No No No Hayai Mobile Yes No Yes No No Jolt Mobile Yes No Yes No No Net10 Wireless Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes OTG Mobile No Yes Yes Yes No Project Fi2 No Yes Yes No Yes Proven Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No Puppy Wireless No Yes No Yes No Red Pocket Mobile Yes Yes Yes Yes No Republic Wireless No Yes Yes No No Straight Talk Yes Yes Yes Yes No Telcel América No Yes Yes No No TextNow No Yes Yes No No The People's Operator USA No Yes Yes No No Ting No Yes Yes No No TracFone3 Yes No Yes Yes Yes US Mobile No No Yes Yes No Zing Wireless No Yes Yes Yes No

1Voice calls are VoIP only, but not counted against a data cap

2Also uses the Three network in the UK

3TracFone's US Cellular service supports feature phones only

That's a pretty long list, and it's been culled to not include companies that only service business account or companies who force you to buy a special phone. It also doesn't include special operators that only provide service for you if you are part of a specific group, such as the armed services or the right credit union. The operators in this list will all sell you service that anyone can use with any compatible phone, anywhere in the U.S.

Your experience?

Have you tried any of these service providers? There are names we all know, names we've heard of, and names that aren't familiar at all here. If you have any experience with any of these companies, please let us know how it went in the comments.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

Curved displays — practical or used just for looks?

59

Most people agree that curved displays look nice, but when it comes to their usefulness, that's another story.

Ever since the Galaxy Note Edge in 2014, Samsung's been betting hard on smartphones with curved displays. The Note Edge lead to devices like the S6 and S7 Edge, and then with the S8 this year, both the normal and Plus models are equipped with display edges that curve over the side.

It's clear that Samsung isn't going to stop curving its smartphone displays anytime soon, but that raises the question of whether or not there's any real purpose to this trend. There's no denying that curved displays on phones look nice, but do they offer any real benefit over ones without them?

One user recently posted this question in our forums, and this is what some of you had to say.

*/
evohicks 11-27-2017 12:18 PM “

I like the curved edges, its one of the reasons I bought it. Yes it's a pain fitting screen protectors but I've removed mine so no issues for me, I think the curved edges look great, I've liked them since they were introduced on the Note edge, but the curves on the Note 8 are quite a bit steeper.

Reply
*/
aldo82 11-27-2017 08:14 AM “

I don't see why they couldn't have the edge panel functions with a flat screen. for me the edge screen has no function other than Samsung thinks it looks good and gives them a one over the other manufacturers. it's fine though. my main issue with it is I think the screen is more vulnerable to drops as cases generally stay below the edges

Reply
*/
srvctec 11-27-2017 08:16 AM “

IMO, the curved edge is COMPLETELY a design over function thing. Please don't try to convince me that you couldn't have edge apps the same way they are now but on a flat screen instead. The screen doesn't need to be curved to have a little touch sensitive button on it to be able to slide it over and utilize edge apps!! Yes, I use the function but it would still function perfectly fine if the...

Reply
*/
daves221 11-27-2017 11:09 AM “

I like the edge as I found the bezel on the note 4 really caused me to lose the ability to write near the bezel. I get much more use of the full screen with the rounded edge of the 8. So for me, I like it.

Reply

Now we'd like to hear from you – What are your thoughts on curved displays?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint Unlocked

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 month ago

ASUS ZenFone 4 review: A good phone let down by the price

3

ASUS' mid-range ZenFone 4 comes with some great features, but at a price that's too high.

We first caught up with ASUS' ZenFone 4 at its launch in Taiwan, but since then things have been a little quiet. Gradually it's been made available in more locations around the world, and since it just launched in the UK, we had a chance to pick it up and spend some solid time with it.

The ZenFone 4 range has a device it seems for all needs, but it's the regular, middle-of-the-pack ZenFone 4 we're taking a look at here. Mid-range specs, premium design, some great features, a good camera and a price tag that's a little too high considering the competition is a quick way to sum up this smartphone.

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